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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[Gun] VIOLENCE permeates U.S. culture

Right to kill, right to be killed pathology
Edited with comment 
By Carolyn Bennett
From an Al Jazeera
“Inside Story” edition

Ninety (90) guns for every 100 residents [USA]

Six (6) guns per 100 residents [England]
Zero (0) guns [Japan] Firearms illegal
Every able-bodied adult male “considered … a soldier” and “required to own government-issued gun, 50 rounds of ammunition” [Switzerland]
Survey findings 2007

Gun violence in 2010 accounted for 8,775 homicides in United States
Guns were used in 67 percent of 2010 murders
Fifty-three (53) percent of Americans oppose tougher gun laws

In the United States, guns are widely available to anyone and laws and restrictions concerning them are confusing and widely variable from one U.S. state to another. “[The] United States has some of the most lax gun laws in the world. …

“‘Guns are purchased at gun shows and other places without background checks,’” says Hubert Williams, a former police officer and current president of the Police Foundation. The U.S. has “‘more gun dealers … than … gas stations….’”

Private sales constitute “‘40 percent of the weapons that exchange hands.’”

Elliot Fineman of the National Gun Victims Council says “‘the idea that law-abiding citizens should have a right to protect themselves sounds good, but…people lose control [and] do not remain law-abiding citizens. …

Every criminal was once a law-abiding citizen.’”

Thousands of people are shot dead every year in the United States, a country that leads the developed world in “the highest rates of murder caused by firearms.”

American-on-American combat and casualties sometimes reach the headlines.
  • Colorado Columbine High School shooting 1999 (15 dead)
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University shooting 2007 (33 dead, 15 wounded) 
  • Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church shot gun shooting 2008 (13 shots fired, 2 dead, 7 wounded, the 4th church shooting attack in 15 months) 
  • Arizona supermarket car park shooting 2011 (six dead including a federal judge, member of U.S. Congress, Gabrielle Giffords, critically wounded
  • Sanford, Florida, neighborhood shooting 2012 (1 unarmed teenager dead)

Despite deadly shootings, the number of Americans opposing stricter gun control laws increases … Some U.S. states continue to push for legalizing “carrying concealed weapons” in schools, on campuses.

Given these facts of cultural indeed mental impairment, I fail to understand the feigned outrage — except that in itself reflects mental impairment — surrounding the latest killing.
Until we actively achieve substantive solutions.

Until the United States becomes a nation indivisible, with caring for all life, until we address our problems in law and correct underlying causes. Until we accomplish a cultural revolution or a reimagining in nonviolence, amending this culture of violence — we will continue on a regressive, medieval course in our actions at home and abroad.

To feign outrage in the face of a protracted status quo — to orchestrate a distraction in the wearing “hoodies” to church and everyday — is therefore to compound true outrage, to insult the intelligence and add further injury to the dead and wounded and to those who survive them.

Source and notes

In discussion with Al Jazeera’s “Inside Story Americas” presenter, Anand Naidoo, were David Burnett (Students for Concealed Carry advocating firearms); Elliot Fineman (National Gun Victims Council whose son was shot and killed in 2006); and Hubert Williams (president of the Police Foundation and former police officer), Al Jazeeera Inside Story: “Why do Americans love their guns?” March 27, 2012,   http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2012/03/20123277115372628.html

“Knoxville, Tennessee Unitarian Universalist Church Shooting” (Brady Blog,  Dan Gross, Dennis Henigan from NewsWatch, CNN and WVLT CBS-8 (Knoxville),  July 27, 2008, http://blog.bradycampaign.org/?p=464&s=1
“Worst U.S. shooting ever kills 33 on Va. campus — 15 others wounded as panic grips Virginia Tech for 2½ hours” (msnbc.com and NBC News, updated 4/17/2007 1:07:58 AM ET), http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18134671/


Gun image from"Spellbound"

Status quo image: http://dbms.com/BankersLikeStatusQuo.jpg
Status quo image: http://www.daviesand.com/SQ_Costs_NBannerClear.gif
Status quo image: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/reformgovernment/images/Slide14.jpg


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